What About The Personal Lives Of Folks Broadcasting The News?

Posted: January 30, 1998

I have a small proposition to make: If the media insist on stripping people in public office (and their families) of every last scrap of personal privacy, it's only fair that the people who do the broadcasting should come clean as well.

In fact, I think we should pass a law requiring it. If such a law were already on the books, a typical TV network news broadcast during the last week would have sounded something like this:

Trumpets: TV news theme song.

Announcer: And now, we interrupt this program to bring you this ZBC Special Report. Here from Washington is ZBC anchorman Bob Handsome.

Bob: Good evening and welcome. As many of you know, sources have told ZBC News that the president of the United States is alleged to have had sex in the White House with a 21-year-old White House intern. And I know all about matters like this because I, myself, have had occasional sex with some of our ZBC college interns. Of course, my wife thinks I'm out meeting with one of our reliable sources. Actually, those interns are reliable sources, if you catch my drift. Sorry, honey.

And now, let's take you to Greg Gorgeous at the White House.

Greg: Thank you, Bob. That's right: The President is alleged to have had sex with this woman on more than one occasion. His wife and daughter presumably knew nothing about it, but they do now, thanks to our wonderful news reports. Of course, my wife and kids know nothing about the night of wild, drunken sex I had with that local anchorwoman at the broadcasters' convention last June in Las Vegas. Although I guess they do now. Looks like I'm headed for divorce court, Bob.

Bob: Been there twice myself, Greg. Anything else you can tell us from the White House tonight?

Greg: Well, in the interest of full disclosure, Bob, I also had a quick sexual encounter with my daughter Missy's college friend up at the lake last summer. I was hoping I wouldn't have to say that, Missy, if you're watching.

Bob: Greg, let's get back to President Clinton. If these incidents did indeed occur, what could motivate a man to lie when asked publicly if he's been unfaithful to his wife?

Greg: I just can't imagine, Bob [giggle, snicker]. I mean, who wouldn't want the whole world to know about that sort of thing [guffaw, snort, cough]?

Bob: You'd certainly want our viewers to know about your extramarital affairs, wouldn't you, Greg?

Greg: Not to mention my cocaine habit and my drunken driving convictions, Bob.

Bob: Thanks for sharing, Greg. Now let's go to Mary Microphone at the Justice Department.

Mary: Thank you, Bob. As you know, the President is alleged to have had affairs with a number of women not his wife over the past few years. And I, myself, have a disease from sleeping around.

Bob: Sorry to hear that, Mary. Now what do you suppose might motivate the President to do such a thing, if indeed he did?

Mary: Probably the same thing that motivated you and me when we spent that crazy week in the Beirut Hilton together a couple of years ago, Bob. Wouldn't want our families to see video of that one, would we, Bob?

Bob: You bet we wouldn't, Mary. Of course, they know now. By the way, Mary, we should also mention for our viewers who are just joining us that I'm on my third wife, and Greg's on his fourth. I cheated plenty on the first two, but so far I've been only verbally abusive to this one. And maybe slapped her a couple of times. Now let's go to Bart Barrister, our legal affairs correspondent. Bart?

Bart: Thanks, Bob. Yes, the President is alleged to have been unfaithful to his wife. Of course, since I've never been married, I've never been guilty of marital infidelity. But I sure have used a lot of women just for sex, Bob, and lied to most of them to get it. Especially the dumb ones who want to get into broadcasting.

Bob: Like that secretary down in advertising whom you promised to take to Tahiti and then dumped and took that cute little blond waitress, Bart?

Bart: That's pretty much the story, Bob.

Bob: Gang, one more question before we rejoin Celebrity Violent Sex Videos, the news program already in progress. Do you suppose its possible that independent counsel Kenneth Starr or anyone on his big investigative staff has ever done anything in their personal lives that they wouldn't want the whole world to know about?

Greg: I can't imagine it, Bob.

Mary: I just assume that they're all perfect, Bob. Totally immune to human frailties.

Bart: Gosh, Bob, sounds like invasion of privacy to me to even ask!

Barry Rabin welcomes your comments at Barryrabin@aol.com

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